Financial and social inclusion

As a major player in a fairer and more inclusive society, the Group is deploying several initiatives to promote the financial and social inclusion of the most vulnerable. BNP Paribas has a long history of working closely with communities to support their economic, social and cultural development. It does so by serving vulnerable clients, supporting microfinance institutions on four continents or through its sponsorship programmes, based on long-standing relationships with committed local partners.

Inclusive and innovative banking models  

 BNP Paribas’ commitment to the direct financial inclusion of the most vulnerable customers is reflected in the wide range of initiatives undertaken by Commercial, Personal Banking & Services (CPBS). This division houses the Group’s retail banking networks as well as several specialised business lines: platforms for identifying and supporting customers in a situation of financial fragility (Axelle), solutions for providing better support to customers with disabilities, new banking models such as Nickel, etc. 

Nickel is a solution available online, at tobacconists or at Nickel points of sale, offering a bank account accessible to all, without income requirements. Since its creation, more than 3 million accounts have been opened. Following its arrival in the Spanish and Belgian markets, Nickel now has more than 6,900 tobacconist partners. In addition, Nickel continues to innovate for inclusion, with their True Name feature allowing non-binary and transgender customers to easily choose their preferred first name on their payment cards.

Improving inclusion among youth

BNP Paribas has a long-standing commitment to youth and has stepped up its support since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. As a bank, we have created new products to enable students to finance their studies, while helping associations, particularly in France, to support young people in the areas of educational continuity, equal opportunities and psychological distress. 

BNP Paribas also acts for young people as an employer: in 2022, in partnership with more than 400 business schools, universities and training organisations in France, the Group recruited 2,000 students under apprenticeship or professional training contracts across over 300 different professions. Outside France, this is reflected in “on the job” induction courses, mentoring, graduate programs to strengthen networking, and the development of certified training courses for young graduates working within BNP Paribas.    

Inclusion around the world, through microfinance 

Internationally, the Group actively supports microfinance institutions (MFIs) around the world (15 countries at the end of 2020). BNP Paribas allocated €376 million in 2020, financing 28 MFIs directly and over 100 indirectly, through dedicated funds. These microcredits, dedicated to underprivileged populations that are excluded from the traditional banking system, support the development of small economic projects and in particular help  women entrepreneurs in emerging countries. 

Microfinance in figures 

€ 367M

In credits or investments in 2020 


€ 1.2Bn 

In cumulative funding since 1989

2.9M

Microcredit beneficiaries supported indirectly since 1989

“Financial inclusion aims to improve access to financial products for everyone, regardless of their situation. What most people suffering from financial exclusion lack is education on the subject. Then they need access to financial services themselves: this is where microfinance comes in.” 

Claudia Belli

Head of Social Business and Microfinance at BNP Paribas   

Supporting international initiatives with our partners

To achieve its inclusion goals, BNP Paribas Paribas partners with several organisations working on critical social issues. Among these many partnerships is the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, which BNP Paribas has been supporting since 2018 in its mission to raise awareness and take action for populations affected by violence and poverty. BNP Paribas also supports initiatives for more inclusive business models, through coalitions such as the OECD’s Business for Inclusive Growth and by partnering on specific projects with the Grameen Creative Lab, a social business incubator.

The bnp paribas foundation

The BNP Paribas Foundation supports initiatives in favour of culture, research, and solidarity with young people, disadvantaged populations and refugees. 

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